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  • We arrived in New Orleans very late...my daughter and me
    she wanted me to see the art
    so we were taking a little trip...
    a little mom/daughter time

    She had rented a Shotgun house via Airbnb
    you know....
    ''don't just visit, live there''
    the area the house was in turned out to be one of the places hardest hurt by Hurricane Katrina
    and one of the places that had only band-aids applied...
    it was hard to tell if it was being reborn or dying
    gentrification and decay
    side by side

    But it was quiet in the night and I felt no threat at all despite, or because, were four locks on the front door and four locks on the back...bars on the windows

    I was prepared for early neighborhood sounds
    morning sounds
    to wake me up
    kids, people going off to work, dogs barking at the garbage truck...
    you know...
    life sounds
    but really
    I was clueless

    I slept...
    and then I heard the first one
    I did my best to ignore it
    but it seemed to get louder and closer
    then I heard another...
    another
    and another
    soon I was surrounded

    I took my eye mask off
    trying to make sense of it
    expecting daylight but it was still pitch dark
    I looked at the time 4 am
    and I wondered about these city roosters who felt it cool to rise so flippin' early
    rude rude roosters
    didn't they know we were guests?
    I would have to use all my sleep tricks
    I needed more hours of sleep...

    But the roosters?
    they didn't care...
    they'd circled the house I was quite sure
    they took joy from my pain
    I heard them join as one... a regular chorus...
    and then with the first light the gulls joined in
    and then the tweetie birds blended their morning song
    while I lay there frustrated and wondering at the irony of a country woman, in a city,
    kept awake by roosters
    I couldn't give up or give in
    I was thinking of coffee
    but I needed sleep
    I buried my head in pillows and thought good thoughts
    but it didn't work
    I lay on my back and listened to my breath
    in...
    out....
    in.........
    out.......
    in..out
    it didn't work...no spiritual moment of being one with nature
    no sense of love for the birds
    no sleep
    I stuffed my ears with tissue...
    buried it again
    and finally I dropped off from shear exhaustion

    Several hours later
    on our way back to the funny little house
    after a walk for coffee
    and a bag or two of munchies
    fruit and avacados
    cashew milk and juice..
    and earplugs
    and a stop at a voodoo shop
    looking at potions for love and wealth and fame and healing
    and revenge...
    we spotted a rooster
    sitting on a fence crowing the most insistent crow
    the sun had refused to shine
    it rained
    flash flood and lightening
    no sun appeared that day
    once inside our little loaner house I googled
    ''New Orleans and chickens...Touro St''
    wondering if backyard chicken farms were catching on in the neighborhoods...
    and what I found
    what I learned
    was we were indeed staying in a dangerous neighborhood.......
  • ''Feral flocks of chickens terrorize neighborhoods in New Orleans''!!!!!!!!!
  • NEW ORLEANS – Since Hurricane Katrina, Ruby Melton’s 9th Ward enclave has welcomed a new species of neighbor: clucking, crowing, prancing chickens that dart across streets and nest in the trees. We don’t have stray dogs any more,” said Melton, 68. “But everyone I talk to has stray chickens.” Most people figure that the wild birds descended from domesticated fowl that escaped backyard coops after the storm. Since then, the population has boomed, with the local SPCA chapter now dispatching officers weekly to catch feral chickens, spokeswoman Katherine LeBlanc said. Most calls hinge on neighbors’ irritation with ear-piercing squawks, she said, rather than complaints about chicken droppings or attacks on pets or children.

    The birds don’t appear to be fugitives from the growing number of New Orleans homesteaders who raise chickens for eggs and meat. Animal control officers place the stray chickens with a farmer they call the Chicken Man, LeBlanc said, noting that capturing the creatures is “extremely hard” and often requires the effort of several officers. Several 7th Ward chickens commute between two empty lots on opposite sides of Touro Street...''

    The Extinction Protocol Geologic and Earthchange News event

    For some odd reason, knowing this, I was able to go back to sleep the next morning when I heard them gathering....
    reluctant
    acceptance
    and earplugs
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